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School Readiness

Handbook

Written in conjunction with the NSW Board of Studies ‘Parent’s Guide to the NSW Primary
Syllabuses’ and the National Quality Framework ‘Early Years Learning Framework’
Working through the transition with Explore & Develop…

Successful school readiness and transitional and interests of children within our
experiences help to identify readiness and classrooms. Through these programs, all
prepares children and their families for the areas of development are supported in
transition to primary school. our unique learning environments. We
focus on interest and skill based learning
There are many things for parents to
experiences to encourage curiosity
consider when assessing their child’s
and confidence in everyday learning
readiness for school. As Explore & Develop
opportunities.
educators are primary influences in your
child’s development, it is suggested that Just as parents rely on Explore & Develop
families work collaboratively with Explore & for feedback and guidance in regards
Develop in order to gain the perspectives to their child’s development, we too
and expertise of educators when making appreciate your contributions to further
the right decision for their child. build upon and strengthen our teaching
perspectives to ensure we meet the needs
Explore & Develop Early Childhood
of your child.
Education and Care settings lay the
foundations for life long learning skills which We look forward to working alongside you
prepare children for a life beyond. and your family in preparing your child
and supporting their transition to primary
Our programs are designed by our
school.
educators to meet the individual needs

The ‘Explore & Develop School Readiness Handbook’ has been created in conjunction with the NSW Board
of Studies ‘Parents Guide to the NSW Syllabuses’ and the National Quality Framework ‘Early Years Learning
Framework’ for the purpose of providing Explore & Develop parents with educational guidelines. Distribution
permitted within Explore & Develop Early Childhood Education and Care centres only.
Second Edition Published 2011 by Explore & Develop Support Office. © All Rights Reserved.

Includes references from; - Board of Studies New South Wales - Parents’ Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses.
- Australian Government Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations for the Council of Australian Governments 2009 -
Belonging, Being & Becoming : The Early Years Learning Framework for Australia.

www.exploreanddevelop.com.au
School Readiness Program
Table of Contents
Creating a bridge for the next big step… Big School 2
What will be taught in Kindergarten 4
A National Change in Early Childhood 5
Learning Outcomes for all Children 6
English 8
Mathematics 10
Science & Technology 12
Human Society & its Environment 14
Creative Arts 16
Personal Development, Health & Physical Education 18
School Readiness Program
Creating a Bridge for the
next big step… ‘BIG’ school

A
s a parent, preparing for your
child’s transition to school can be a
confronting time, feeling the pressure
to ensure your child has the very best start to
school life. Not only do you want your child
to be intellectually ready for the transition to
school, but emotionally capable as well.

As the year unravels you begin to hear the
endless conflicting stories from other parents,
teachers, family and friends in regards to
school readiness and preschool programs –
But what does it all mean?

At Explore & Develop, we design our
preschool school readiness programs in
accordance with the NSW Board of Studies
‘Parents Guide to the NSW Syllabuses’ and
the ‘Early Years Learning Framework’.

This school readiness booklet will illustrate
to you, the link between the NSW Board
of Studies ‘Parents Guide to the NSW
Syllabuses’, the National Quality Framework
‘Early Years Learning Framework’ and Explore
& Develop.

Most importantly this handbook will provide
you with an understanding of how Explore &
Develop caters for the developmental needs
of your child in its everyday programs which
will assist in creating a smooth transition to
school for your child.

2 School Readiness Program
It is important, in order to assist in preparing
your child for their transition to school,
that you understand what is expected in
that first year of ‘Big School’. You and your
child’s preschool teachers may be the
most influential educators in your child’s
life as they prepare for this transition, so it is
important that you all work collaboratively
to provide your child with the most
meaningful life and learning experiences.

In this guide you will be exposed to some
examples of programs that we have in
place at Explore & Develop to help promote
your child’s development. Please be mindful
that the examples displayed by Explore
& Develop are just a small sample of the
array of experiences programmed for your
child, and should not be seen as the only
experiences adopted to promote school
readiness.

For further information and a clear
perspective of your child’s skills and
development, please contact your child’s
educator or the centre Licensee.

School Readiness Program 3
NSW Board of Studies Syllabus
What will be taught in Kindergarten
The NSW Board of Studies syllabus states what must be taught in the first year at
school, within the following six learning areas:

English
Mathematics
Science & Technology
Human Society & Its Environment (HSIE)
Creative Arts
Personal Development,
Health & Physical Education

In this guide you will be exposed to some
examples of common elements that your
child will be learning in their first year of
school as well as the programs Explore
& Develop have in place. Through these
programs, Explore & Develop aim to
promote skill development across all areas
stated above in order to create a ‘bridge’
for a smooth transition to school.

Although Explore & Develop
acknowledges the NSW Board of Studies
Syllabus and its expectations for children in
their first year at school, Explore & Develop
programs for early childhood education
and care are also designed in conjunction
with the Early Years Learning Framework,
Australia’s first national curriculum
framework for early childhood education
and care.

In planning our programs in this way, we
are ensuring that your child’s educational
and care needs are nurtured in our
Explore & Develop Early Childhood
Education and Care setting.

4 School Readiness Program
National Quality Framework
A National Change in Early Childhood
Research shows that a child’s The National Quality Framework has
experience in their first five years sets three parts;
the course for the rest of their life. In
recognition of this, the Australian •A
 National Quality Standard – gives
Government, in partnership with all state families clear information about the
and territory governments, is making quality of early childhood education
important changes to early childhood and school age care services they
education and care in Australia. This will can expect their children to receive.
ensure that all Australian children get
•A
 National Quality Rating System –
the best possible start.
consists of  five levels, including a
This is being done through the quality rating for seven key areas of
introduction of a National Quality childhood development.
Framework which has been agreed by
•A
 n Early Years Learning Framework
the Council of Australian Governments.
– forms the foundation for ensuring
The National Quality Framework will that children in all early childhood
put in place a new National Quality education and care settings
Standard to ensure high quality and experience quality teaching and
consistent early childhood education learning.
and care across Australia.

National Quality
Quality Rating System
Standards

1. Educational Early Years Learning
Excellent
Program & Practice Framework

2. Children’s Health
Advanced
& Safety

National Quality
3. Physical Environment
Standard

Qualifications &
4. Staffing Arrangements Foundation
Ratios

5. Relationships with children Unsatisfactory

6. Collaborative Partnerships
with families & Communities

7. Leadership & Service
Management
School Readiness Program 5
Early Years Learning Framework
Learning Outcomes for all Children
The Early Years Learning Framework consists of the following 5 learning outcomes:

Outcome 1: Children have a strong Outcome 4: Children are confident and
sense of identity involved learners
- Children feel safe, secure, and - Children develop dispositions for
supported learning such as curiosity, cooperation,
- Children develop their emerging confidence, creativity, commitment,
autonomy, inter-dependence, enthusiasm, persistence, imagination
resilience and sense of agency and reflexivity
- Children develop knowledgeable and - Children develop a range of skills and
confident self identities processes such as problem solving,
- Children learn to interact in relation to inquiry, experimentation, hypothesising,
others with care, empathy and respect researching and investigating
  - Children transfer and adapt what they
Outcome 2: Children are connected with have learned from one context to
and contribute to their world another
- Children develop a sense of belonging - Children resource their own learning
to groups and communities and an through connecting with people,
understanding of the reciprocal rights place, technologies and natural and
and responsibilities necessary for active processed materials
community participation
- Children respond to diversity with Outcome 5: Children are effective
respect communicators
- Children become aware of fairness - Children interact verbally and non-
- Children become socially responsible verbally with others for a range of
and show respect for the environment purposes
  - Children engage with a range of texts
Outcome 3: Children have a strong and gain meaning from these texts
sense of wellbeing - Children express ideas and make
- Children become strong in their social meaning using a range of media
and emotional wellbeing - Children begin to understand how
- Children take increasing responsibility symbols and pattern systems work
for their own health and physical - Children use information and
wellbeing communication technologies to access
  information, investigate ideas and
represent their thinking

6 School Readiness Program
How can Explore & Develop
educators assist you in assessing
your child’s readiness for school?
Explore & Develop educators plan
and program both interest based and
intentional teaching experiences on a
daily basis to promote appropriate skill
development among the children in their
class.

Explore & Develop educators assess
children’s learning and development in a
number of ways;

Daily Diaries allow educators to plan and
assess group learning outcomes each
day.

Portfolios / journals allow educators
to assess, document and track
each individual child’s learning and
development over an extended period of
time.

Developmental Summaries allow
educators to assess each individual child’s
learning and development across all
areas on a six monthly basis. This summary
will indicate, to educators and parents/
guardians, the learning outcomes that
have been promoted and achieved by
the individual child.

By corresponding with your child’s
educators on a regular basis, you will be
able to form an understanding in regards
to your child’s learning and development
in an educational setting; this may differ
slightly from your observations of your child
in the home setting.

School Readiness Program 7
English
In English, students learn to read, write, talk and listen. They learn about English language
and literature, how language varies according to context and how to communicate to
a range of audiences for different purposes. They learn to read for information and for
pleasure. They learn about poetry, novels and plays. They gain a sound grasp of language
structures, punctuation, spelling and grammar.
NSW Board of Studies, Parents’ Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses

NSW Board of Studies
In conjunction with the EYLF,
expectations for children
Explore & Develop delivers:
in their kindergarten year:

• Children listen to and follow Learning Outcome 1: Explore & Develop ensure
simple instructions involving Children have a strong all children experience
one step sense of identity. pride in their attempts
Explore & Develop and achievements and
• Children give short talks and acknowledges and encourage children to
express ideas, e.g. news, understands that children assist in documenting their
describe a favourite pet or toy construct meaning in their successes to share with
• Children begin developing own way. We support the others.
reading and comprehension maintenance of home Learning Outcome 4:
skills, e.g. recognise simple language while integrating Children are confident and
sight words, recognise most an understanding for involved learners.
sounds of the alphabet, use Standard Australian Through learning
illustrations and picture clues English. experiences, educators
to make predictions about Learning Outcome 2: encourage children
stories when reading Children are connected to use language, in its
with and contribute to the many forms, to express
• Children write simple words
world. themselves.
using letters and sounds to
Educators expose children Learning Outcome 5:
help spell-out words
to a variety of languages Children are effective
• Children begin to use word and dialects to embrace communicators.
processing software to write cultures within our At Explore & Develop,
simple sentences centre and encourage children are provided
appreciation of linguistic with a literacy-enriched
diversity. environment, inclusive
Learning Outcome 3: of display print in home
Children have a strong languages and Standard
sense of wellbeing. Australian English.

8 School Readiness Program
What learning experiences
may Explore & Develop
implement to promote

English?
Explore & Develop provide resources
such as books and other forms of text to
encourage children to explore language
and literacy.

Our educators scaffold children’s
understandings of print and how it
works by sharing a range of oral
and written texts, including rhymes,
poems, songs, books, signs, posters
and digital texts.

Pencils & paper promote language
and literacy skills among children
whether it be drawing and verbalising their
creation or experimenting with writing letters
and short sentences.

Computers or similar technologies allow
children to experiment with sounds, letters,
words and also promotes turn taking and
problem solving amongst peer groups.

Receptive language is promoted when
educators encourage children to follow
directions or tasks throughout the day.

School Readiness Program 9
Mathematics
Mathematics develops students’ thinking, understanding, competence and confidence with
numbers, shapes and measurement. Students learn to add, subtract, divide and multiply
whole numbers, fractions and decimals. They learn to measure time and calculate with
money. They learn geometry, algebra and how to work with data and graphs.
NSW Board of Studies, Parents’ Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses

NSW Board of Studies
In conjunction with the EYLF,
expectations for children
Explore & Develop delivers:
in their kindergarten year:

• Count aloud to 30 and Learning Outcome 1: to build upon and
recognise numbers from 1 – 20 Children have a strong persevere through
sense of identity. mathematical challenges,
• Manipulate objects such as
Children are provided with acknowledging children’s
counters to help add and
opportunities to engage efforts and growth.
subtract numbers
independently, or in groups, Learning Outcome 4:
• Recognise the value of mathematically. Educators Children are confident and
currency, e.g. 20 cent piece, assist when necessary by involved learners.
five dollar note providing encouragement
Explore & Develop
• Count backwards from any to support children through
strive to recognise
given number in the range challenges should they
the mathematical
0 – 20 arise.
understandings that
• Name the days of the week Learning Outcome 2: children bring to learning
and seasons Children are connected and build on these in a
• Tell the time to the hour e.g. with and contribute to the way that is relevant to
four o’clock world. each child.
• Identify and name simple Children are provided with Learning Outcome 5:
shapes opportunities to investigate Children are effective
ideas and complex communicators.
• Use positional terms e.g. under,
concepts, such as time
over, right, left Children are provided with
and value, relevant
• Recognise that halves are access to a wide range
to their lives and local
equal parts of everyday materials
communities.
that they can use to
Learning Outcome 3: create patterns, sort and
Children have a strong categorise, order and
sense of wellbeing. compare, etc.
Educators support and
challenge children

10 School Readiness Program
What learning experiences
may Explore & Develop
implement to promote

Mathematics?
Explore & Develop provide children with a range
of resources to promote the development of
mathematical skills and understandings.

Puzzles, matching shapes, and other problem
solving tools allow children to challenge their thought
processes in order to manipulate the items to
place them in the correct places.

Rote counting experiences, such
as counting markers, encourage
children to count through and
verbalise a number sequence.

Sequencing is achieved in many
ways; through the patterning of
beads, matching similarities, deciphering
odd items, etc.

In preparation for kindergarten, preschool rooms generally
run to a specific time table consisting of indoor / outdoor
time, group times, meal times, etc. This allows children to
become familiar with routines in reference to time.

Whilst role playing (such as ‘shops’) is a lot of fun, it is
implemented for the purpose of educating children to problem
solve with a number of items, buying and selling and becoming
familiar with money and its value in our everyday lives.

School Readiness Program 11
Science & Technology
Science and Technology develops students’ skills in thinking, investigating and problem
solving. It gives them knowledge and skills in scientific investigation, design and applied
technology.

This subject builds on the curiosity children have about their natural and built environments.

NSW Board of Studies, Parents’ Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses

NSW Board of Studies
In conjunction with the EYLF,
expectations for children
Explore & Develop delivers:
in their kindergarten year:

• Design and make simple plans Learning Outcome 1: achievements in order
to show things such as their Children have a strong to share their learning
house or their toys sense of identity. outcomes and conclusions
Educators maintain with others.
• Show how things move by
appropriate learning Learning Outcome 4:
using pushing and pulling
expectations for children, Children are confident and
actions
and provide opportunities involved learners.
• Talk about the different needs for children to engage in
and wants of animals and sort Children are provided
experiences in a supportive
models or pictures according with experiences that
environment.
to needs and wants encourage investigation,
Learning Outcome 2: problem solving and
• Talk about their environment, Children are connected hypothesising and
including features such as with and contribute to the encourage children to
clouds, weather and day and world. make their ideas and
night
Children are encouraged theories visible to others.
• Talk about how they can look to listen to others Learning Outcome 5:
after their environment and respect diverse Children are effective
• Talk about different forms of perspectives when communicators.
energy and identify its use in exploring ideas and
Explore & Develop
daily life engaging in group
integrate a range of
problem solving
common technologies
experiences.
into learning experiences
Learning Outcome 3: in order to encourage
Children have a strong children to experiment with
sense of wellbeing. and explore scientifically.
Educators collaborate with
children in documenting
their scientific

12 School Readiness Program
What learning experiences
may Explore & Develop
implement to promote

Science &
Technology?
Explore & Develop provides
opportunities for children to work
together within their peer groups to
experiment and problem solve.

Writing stations are set up with a
variety of utensils (pencils of differing
thicknesses, textas, crayons, rulers,
scissors, tape, etc) to stimulate creative
expression of thoughts, ideas and
theories.

General experiments such as ‘floating
& sinking’ allow children to investigate,
theorise and form conclusions relative
to the learning experience. Children
discuss their thoughts and ideas,
sharing their knowledge and skills.

Technologies such as computers,
cameras, and music players promote
independent and group exploration
and learning.

School Readiness Program 13
Human Society & Its Environment
In Human Society and Its Environment (HSIE) students learn about history, geography, civics
and citizenship.

They investigate their personal and community identity, and gain an understanding of their
nation and its place in the world. They learn to participate effectively in maintaining and
improving the quality of their society and the environment.  
NSW Board of Studies, Parents’ Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses

NSW Board of Studies
In conjunction with the EYLF,
expectations for children
Explore & Develop delivers:
in their kindergarten year:

• Tell stories about family heritage Learning Outcome 1: Learning Outcome 4:
and use language such as Children have a strong Children are confident and
‘time’, ‘change’ and ‘place’ sense of identity. involved learners.
Explore & Develop works Children are provided with
• T alk about how families are
collaboratively with families opportunities to explore
similar and different, and how
to build upon culturally the diversity of cultures
the needs of individuals are
valued child rearing and social identities and
met in the family
practices and approaches their connectedness to
•G
 et involved in class to learning. others.
discussions about special
Learning Outcome 2: Learning Outcome 5:
events and cultural
Children are connected Children are effective
celebrations, e.g. Anzac Day
with and contribute to the communicators.
• T alk about the different roles world.
and responsibilities in the Explore & Develop provide
Explore & Develop children with opportunities
classroom, school and home
values the importance to engage with familiar
•D
 o things that show care for of exploring the culture, and unfamiliar culturally
their home, classroom, school heritage, backgrounds constructed texts and
and/or environment and traditions of its families resources.
• L isten to dreaming stories within the context of their
• T alk about their home, it’s community.
features and location Learning Outcome 3:
Children have a strong
sense of wellbeing.
Educators mediate
and assist children in
negotiating their rights in
relation to the rights of
others.

14 School Readiness Program
What learning experiences
Explore & Develop
may
implement to promote
Human Society & Its Environment?

Explore & Develop value the link between Role playing experiences encourage
Human Society & Its Environment and our children to explore roles and cultures through
everyday lives. cultural or community dress and drama.

At Explore & Develop we strive to create Explore & Develop values and encourages
natural learning environments and the implementation of shared special
encourage children to view these as events and cultural traditions within the
a space for everyone, a place to be centre. We invite families, friends and
respected and cared for and a space for all members of the community to share
children to feel safe, supported and valued these meaningful experiences with us
as an important member of our community. throughout the year.

Experiences, such as gardening, allow Educators work on family related
children to develop an understanding for experiences in order to stimulate curiosity
the world around us and allow them to care, and encourage conversations among
nurture and own a sense of responsibility for children in regards to cultural differences
other living things. and equality within our communities.

School Readiness Program 15
Creative Arts
Creative Arts gives students experiences in the visual arts, music, drama and dance. They
have opportunities to explore their creativity in each of these areas.

They learn to appreciate the meanings and values that each art form offers. They perform
and express themselves through visual arts, music, dance and drama.

NSW Board of Studies, Parents’ Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses

NSW Board of Studies
In conjunction with the EYLF,
expectations for children
Explore & Develop delivers:
in their kindergarten year:

• Make their own pieces of art Learning Outcome 1: Learning Outcome 4:
about real and imagined Children have a strong Children are confident and
experiences using materials sense of identity. involved learners.
such as paints, watercolours, Learning environments Children are provided with
sponges, crayons, brushes and such as home corner are opportunities to construct
sticks arranged in a way that and take apart materials
promotes group interactions as a strategy for learning.
• Make simple 3D constructions
and role play.
with boxes and use play dough Learning Outcome 5:
or clay to create models Learning Outcome 2: Children are effective
Children are connected communicators.
• Perform dance and drama
with and contribute to the
with movement and expression Explore & Develop
world.
• Sing, play and move to music, provides children with a
Creative arts experiences range of resources that
and experiment with sound
are planned with relevant enable children to express
• Copy the beat of music resources provided meaning using visual arts,
using clapping, tapping or to broaden children’s music, dance, drama
percussion instruments perspectives and and various forms of
encourage appreciation technology.
for diversity.
Learning Outcome 3:
Children have a strong
sense of wellbeing.
Explore & Develop
educators plan for and
participate in physical
activities such as drama,
music and movement with
children.

16 School Readiness Program
What learning experiences
may Explore & Develop
implement to promote

Creative Arts?
Creative arts is promoted and implemented Music & movement experiences encourage
in a wide variety of ways and should not children to experiment with instruments;
be limited to just drawing and painting. The investigating tone, beat & rhythm while
following experiences are just a small insight expressing themselves through movement
into creative art experiences. and vocals.

Creative arts stations, like the writing station, Dramatic role play areas provide
are supplied with a variety of different children with props, stimulating children’s
utensils to stimulate creativity. Thick and thin participation in drama and allowing
textas, pencils and crayons are supplied them to role playing a variety of roles and
to strengthen and develop fine motor skills. scenarios with their peers.
While manipulating rulers, scissors, hole
Box and block construction is also a form of
punches, staplers and tape, children are
creative arts, allowing children to explore,
developing control as their fine motor skills
design concepts and construct large
strengthen.
scale building formations. When working
Different types of paper (rough, smooth, alongside peers, these experiences may
coloured, thick, cardboard, newspaper, also inherit the ability to adapt team work.
etc) are also used to allow children
to explore texture and thickness while
experimenting creatively.

Clay, playdough, plaster, and other
construction mediums assist in strengthening
the small muscles (fine motor) of the
hands while providing children with the
opportunity to express their creativity in 3D
form.

School Readiness Program 17
Personal Development,
Health & Physical Education
Personal Development, Health and Physical Education (PDHPE) develops the knowledge,
skills and attitudes students need to lead healthy, active and fulfilling lives. Students learn
about the importance of good food and regular exercise. They learn how bodies grow
and change over time. They learn skills to play individual and team sports, and the value of
sportsmanship and teamwork.
NSW Board of Studies, Parents’ Guide to the NSW Primary Syllabuses

NSW Board of Studies
In conjunction with the EYLF,
expectations for children
Explore & Develop delivers:
in their kindergarten year:

• Become aware of safe and Learning Outcome 1: Explore & Develop engage
unsafe places and situations, Children have a strong children in experiences,
e.g. roads or water sense of identity. conversations and routines
Educators spend time that promote healthy
• Identify people who can help,
interacting and conversing life style habits and an
and describe actions such
with children to bridge the understanding for good
as ‘no, go, tell’ that might be
gap between familiar and nutrition.
taken in unsafe situations
unfamiliar; for example Learning Outcome 4:
• Label different parts of the assisting child in becoming Children are confident and
body and name their functions, more aware of ‘realistic’ involved learners.
e.g. ears are for hearing safe measures.
Educators plan
• Identify how people care for Learning Outcome 2: opportunities to
each other Children are connected intentionally scaffold
• Participate in regular physical with and contribute to the children’s understandings
activity through creative play world. to introduce and maintain
and minor games Explore & Develop plan healthy life style and
• Learn to practise fundamental opportunities for children nutritional habits.
movement skills such as to build connections within Learning Outcome 5:
hopping and jumping the local community to Children are effective
help children form an communicators.
understanding of safe links
Children are provided
within the community.
with opportunities to
Learning Outcome 3: express meaning through
Children have a strong dance, drama, music and
sense of wellbeing. movement.

18 School Readiness Program
What learning experiences
Explore & Develop
may
implement to promote
Personal Development,
Health & Physical Education?
As the obesity rate across the globe Road safety experiences provide children
rises, Explore & Develop see the value with the skills and understanding to judge
in educating children about physical safe and unsafe road practices; an
development, health and physical understanding of road signs, markings
education to assist in helping them form a and simple road rules allow children to be
positive understanding towards physical cautious and aware.
health and nutrition.

Educators engage in meaningful
communications with children throughout
the day, especially during meal times,
to enlighten children with nutritional
information relative to their nutritional meals.

We plan and create outdoor environments
to stimulate and challenge the gross motor
skills of children, encouraging children to
engage in regular physical activity and the
development of fundamental movement skills.

Explore & Develop educators value the
importance of children developing an
understanding of the community helpers within
our society. Visits from community helpers,
such as police, fire fighters, ambulance
officers, dentists and nurses, provide children
with a broader understanding of these
important roles within society.

School Readiness Program 19
We cherish the innocence of children

Treasure the time they take to grow

Help them reach their full potential

Value individuality as a part of our community

Provide a haven for everyday discovery and learning

Have an appetite for health and wellbeing

Believe in caring, guiding and nurturing

We celebrate our differences

We welcome and value each family and their contribution

We value the commitment and professionalism of our team

We care for our world and its future

We believe in preparing children for a life beyond

that of the home and centre
Inside back cover blank
www.exploreanddevelop.com.au